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Army Surgeon General Discusses Progress in Warrior Care

In a recent interview, AMSUS AMSUS Association of Military Surgeons of the United States  member LTG LTG
lieutenant general
 Eric Schoomaker, MC, USA reflected on some of the lessons in courage and strength he learned from wounded soldiers while serving as commander of Walter Reed Army Medical Center Walter Reed Army Medical Center, major hospital complex in Washington, D. C., and Forest Glen, Md.; est. 1923 and named for U.S. army surgeon Walter Reed. It is composed of seven units including a general hospital and a research institute. There are several thousand beds.  in Washington, DC and later as Army Surgeon General The U.S. Surgeon General is charged with the protection and advancement of health in the United States. Since the 1960s the surgeon general has become a highly visible federal public health official, speaking out against known health risks such as tobacco use, and promoting disease  and commander of Army Medical Command.

Specifically, Schoomaker tells the story of a roadside bomb victim who was aided at the point of injury in Iraq and later received care at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center The Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) is an overseas military hospital operated by the U.S. Army and the Department of Defense. LRMC is the largest military hospital outside of the continental US. , "He was a great soldier and had a compelling story for us. We had to admit that we had failed to provide all of those safely nets that he needed."

Schoomaker said that the Army has taken lessons like this one and worked to transform the way soldiers receive care. The Army's 36 Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) have dramatically changed how the Army cares for its injured, ill and wounded soldiers. Nine community based units ensure that Army Reserve and Army National Guard soldiers can heal at locations that are closer to home.

Over 11,000 wounded soldiers are in WTUs, including about 34 percent from combat theaters. In the months prior to July 2008, WTUs out-processed an average of 630 soldiers per month, with over 47 percent returning to active duty.

Other resources for injured, ill or wounded soldiers include the Soldier Family Assistance Center and the Wounded Warrior Program. Some active duty soldiers are also treated in the VA's world class polytrauma treatment centers for conditions like TBI TBI 1. Thyroxine-binding index 2. Total body irradiation , amputations and burns.
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Publication:Military Medicine
Date:Jan 1, 2009
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